Azerbaijan’s finance minister talks reasons for 2018 state budget revision (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 13:40)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

By Anvar Mammadov, Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

Revision of Azerbaijan’s state budget for 2018 is caused by the aspirations to increase the country’s defense capability and security as well as to strengthen protection of socially vulnerable segments of the population, Azerbaijani Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said.

He made the remarks June 29 during discussions on the corresponding bill at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament.

In accordance with the bill, there are plans to increase state budget revenues by 1,983 million manats (9.9 percent) to 22,110 million manats and to increase expenditures by 2,014 million manats (9.6 percent) to 23,061 million manats. The state budget deficit will be 951 million manats (an increase of 31 million manats), which will be equal to 1.3 percent of the expected GDP of Azerbaijan in 2018.

The revenues of Azerbaijan’s adjusted consolidated budget for 2018 are forecast at 28,086.8 million manats, which is 3,981.1 million manats or 16.5 percent more than the approved budget. The consolidated budget expenditures will amount to 26,537 million manats, which is 1,600.2 million manats or 6.4 percent more than the approved figures.

In accordance with new forecast, the previously approved deficit of the consolidated state budget in the amount of 831.1 million manats will be replaced by a surplus of 1,549.8 million manats.

The budget forecasts were adjusted considering oil price at $55 per barrel. The base price for oil set in the state budget for this year is $45.

The minister noted that the reforms in the customs sphere as well as the increase of duties on certain goods, in particular the increase of excise tax rates on tobacco and alcohol products, made it possible to increase the forecast for customs revenues to the state budget.

“As a result, the forecast for customs revenues of the state budget has been increased by 785 million manats,” Sharifov said.

In addition, due to the increase in oil prices in global markets and the adjustment of budget forecasts, considering the oil price at $55, oil revenues to the state budget through the Ministry of Taxes have also been increased by 500 million manats, he noted.

“Along with this, forecasts for non-oil revenues through the Ministry of Taxes are to decrease by 1,027 million manats,” Sharifov said. “This is related to the return of taxes collected earlier in excess or their replacement by taxes that must be paid in the current year. Total forecast for tax revenues for 2018 is to decrease by 527 million manats.”

Revenue part of the 2018 state budget was set at 20.127 billion manats (including centralized revenues in the amount of over 19.473 billion manats, local revenues in the amount of 653.350 million manats), while expenditures were set at 21.047 billion manats (including centralized expenditures in the amount of over 20.323 billion manats, local expenditures in the amount of 723.925 million manats).

(1.7 manats = $1 on June 29)

---

Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

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